Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

After the Break

Friday, January 27, 2012


PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Nashville, vs. New Jersey, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Flyers play four times this week, including three games in four nights so look for Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky to share the net. The Flyers will be tired on Sunday when facing the rested Rangers in New York after hosting the Devils on Saturday. We think that the Ranger fans will be going wild with the Giants in the Super Bowl later that day. Jaromir Jagr sat out Tuesday’s game with a groin injury and his return is questionable for Tuesday’s tilt against the Jets. Scott Hartnell was the NHL’s second star of the week as he scored six goals including five on the power play.

 

 PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Coyotes play only twice this week so I recommend benching everyone in weekly pools if you are able to do so, with the possible exception of Ray Whitney. Keith Yandle has seen only 1:30 minutes and 23 seconds of power play duty in his last two games as coach Dave Tippett has been using Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Whitney on the points. Daymond Langkow returned to action on Tuesday after suffering a facial injury against the  Red Wings on January 19. Chris Summers should pay for me to go to all his games. I was at two Coyotes games over a week ago and he had three points in the two games I was there, his first, and only three points in the NHL. Just saying.

  

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Toronto, @ Boston, @ New Jersey

 

Notes

The Penguins play four games this week but not three in four nights.  Still, Brent Johnson should see action in one game as Marc-Andre Fleury shouldn’t be expected to carry the whole load. The Penguins play a home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs to start the second half after the All-Star break so look for Deryk Engelland and Arron Asham to add to their penalty minute totals as they have six and seven majors respectively. Kris Letang has two goals and four points in four games since returning from a concussion. Evgeni Malkin was the first star of the week after garnering the third star selection the previous week.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Nashville

 

Notes

The Blues play only twice this week but are tired on Saturday when they play in Nashville after hosting Los Angeles on Friday. I suggest benching all your Blues in weekly pools if you can. Brian Elliott is 15-5-2 with a league-leading GAA and save percentage of 1.69 and .938 respectively.  Alex Pietrangelo has gone scoreless in his last two games, but did pick up 12 minutes in penalties over the two games. He was the stud over the previous nine games with three goals and 13 points. He is going to be one of the top offensive defensemen in the next year or two. David Backes has 37 penalty minutes in his last six games, along with two goals and six points. He is an all-round fantasy gem.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Dallas, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

The Sharks are rested Thursday when they face a tired Dallas team, who are in Anaheim the previous night. Andrew Desjardins has been playing on the Sharks' top line alongside Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton and the Sharks are pleased with his work thus far. Antero Niittymaki passed through waivers and should go to the minors. Brent Burns suffered a charley horse and could return for the Columbus game after missing Tuesday’s game. Joe Thornton leads the Sharks with 38 points, two ahead of Logan Couture who was the last player selected in the All-Star fantasy Draft.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Lightning are in the middle of a five game home stand which could determine if they will get and stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They are rested on Saturday when they host the Panthers as Florida is home to the Jets on Friday. Victor Hedman has been practicing and hopes to return to action for the game against the Capitals on Tuesday. He has been out with a concussion since December 27. Mathieu Garon has won his last three starts and could be ready to take over as the Lightning’s top netminder. Dana Tyrell is out for the season with a partial tear of his ACL on his right knee. Ryan Malone (upper body) could return on Tuesday.

     

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play the Penguins in a home-and-home series so look for Mike Brown and Dion Phaneuf to add to their penalty minute totals if there are fisticuffs involved. The Maple Leafs will be rested on Saturday when they face a tired Ottawa team who play at home to the Islanders Friday night. Jake Gardiner scored his first NHL goal in the last game before the All-Star break and it should be the first of many as his offensive skill is quite high. He looked like a man among boys in Tuesday’s win over the Islanders as he controlled the play when he was on the ice. He is worth looking at in all keeper leagues. Despite being out with a concussion, the Maple Leafs gave defenseman John-Michael Liles a four year extension. Matthew Lombardi has four goals in his last five games.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Detroit, @ Colorado

 

Notes

The Canucks open the second half of the season against their arch-rivals from Chicago and it should be interesting to see if the Canucks try to go after Dave Bolland whose comments a few months ago left Canuck fans upset. Good news for Sami Salo as he returned after missing six game with a concussion after he was hit by the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, a misdeed that cost Marchand a five game suspension.  David Booth is heating up with a goal in each of the last three games. Henrik Sedin leads the Canucks in points with 52 but is pointless in his last four while twin brother Daniel Sedin is one point behind after potting a couple of goals in his last four.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Montreal, vs. Boston

 

Notes

Despite playing four games this week, the Capitals do not play a rested team while they are tired. Look for Michal Neuvirth to play once in place of Tomas Vokoun this week as the Capitals play a pair of back-to-back games. Mathieu Perreault has five points in his last two games as he is centering the second line with Alexander Semin and Marcus Johansson on his wings. Alex Ovechkin will be eligible to return to action for the Montreal game on Saturday as he was suspended for three games for his hit on the Penguins Zbynek Michalek on Tuesday. Nicklas Backstrom has missed 10 games but still leads the Capitals in points with 42, three ahead of Ovechkin, while Dennis Wideman leads the blueline corps with 34 points including nine goals.

 

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Montreal

 

Notes

The Jets play four games on the road this week and play three games in four nights so Chris Mason should play at least once in place of Ondrej Pavelec.  They are tired on Friday when they play the Florida Panthers after facing Tampa Bay Thursday and are rested Sunday in Montreal, facing a Canadiens team that play the Capitals Saturday. Blake Wheeler has struggled of late with only one assist and a minus-seven rating in his last six games. Evander Kane is on the injured reserve list after suffering a concussion on January 19. Alexander Burmistrov has taken his spot on the top line with Wheeler and Bryan Little. Derek Meech went through waivers and was sent to the minors where he suffered a possible knee injury on Wednesday.



Michael Finewax has been covering hockey since 2005 and is the Hockey Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter.
Email :Mike Finewax



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Short: Plug in Despaigne?

    Short: Plug in Despaigne?
  •  
    Short: Buy, Hold or Sell

    Short: Buy, Hold or Sell
  •  
    Short: Trade Chris Davis?

    Short: Trade Chris Davis?
  •  
    Short: Cain hits rock bottom

    Short: Cain hits rock bottom
  •  
    Short: Buy, Hold or Sell

    Short: Buy, Hold or Sell
  •  
    Short: Struggling starters

    Short: Struggling starters
  •  
    Short: Will Mauer rebound?

    Short: Will Mauer rebound?
  •  
    Is Chisenhall the real deal?

    Is Chisenhall the real deal?